Tilting tail piece - why?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Kzin, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. Kzin

    Kzin Member

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    I´ve noticed that on Gibsons the tail piece is often set higher on the base side than on the treble side. Whats the reason for this? To achive a more balanced and not too base heavy tone?
     
  2. M40A1

    M40A1 Member

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    My guess is because the bridge is angled and to get the same break over angle with the strings over the saddles the tailpiece has to be raised a little higher. Otherwise, the heavier gage strings may contact the back of the bridge. I'm no expert, really not even worthy of being a hack at this point, but to me that is what seems to be going on.
     
  3. Guitarworks

    Guitarworks Member

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    Most, if not all, stop bar tailpieces I've seen on Gibsons are down tight to the body all the way across, and the strings clear the back of the bridge piece enough that you can slide a pick in the gap. There is some conjecture that the break angle over the saddles should not be so steep that the strings contact the bridge piece behind them.

    And if they do touch, the angle at which the neck was set is supposedly too steep, requiring the bridge to be raised. In turn, the strings should be re-wrapped to go over and around the back of the bar with the string stoppers in the front to get the needed clearance behind the saddles (not straight through the bar with the stoppers in the back).

    No STP/TOM - equipped guitar I have ever owned or worked on has needed this with the bar all the way down, or nearly so. I have occasionally seen a Les Paul every once in a great while with the strings going around the bar, but the vast majority I've seen do not. It sounds kinda like hokum to me. If the strings are making contact behind the saddles, then just raise the tailpiece studs 1/4 turn.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
  4. cherrick

    cherrick Member

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  5. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    the real issue is that current production gibsons have too-steep a neck angle; if you crank the tailpiece all the way down, it puts to much pressure on the zinc pot-metal bridge, which bows in the middle over time.

    either keep the tailpiece up, or drop it all the way down and top-wrap. (top-wrapping changes the feel, i hate it myself.)
     
  6. ianb

    ianb Member

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    :agree
     

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